Updates on the Business Improvement District

Dear Property Owner or West Bank Business Owner,

Thank you once more for your continued involvement with the progress of the proposed West Bank Improvement District. This letter serves as as a follow up to our last correspondence, to give you an update on our most recent activity.

Thus far, we’ve received the following support for a self-managed West Bank District, including:

  • A vote in support of the WBID by the West Bank Business Association in June 2012 and 2011;
  • A vote in support of the WBID by the West Bank Community Coalition in August 2012;
  • A unanimous vote in support of the WBID from the West Bank Safety Committee, a group comprised of representatives from the West Bank Community Coalition, the West Bank Business Association, West Bank residents, and Cedar Riverside NRP, for the purpose of providing Safety Ambassadors, in May 2012;
  • A letter sent to the WBBA and ADC in July 2011 expressing institutional support from Augsburg College, Fairview, and Sherman Associates for the Special Services District concept (since renamed the WBID) and highlighting that the University has traditionally contributed to special services districts by providing equivalent services on its property and is in discussions about how it may contribute toward the WBID effort in a variety of ways;
  • A resolution passed by Cedar Riverside Partnership in May 2011 to endorse the concept of a Cedar Riverside Special Service District(since renamed the WBID), support further outreach, and support the preparation of a petition;
  • Support from the businesses surveyed to date, of which 74% favored the creation of the WBID;
  • Support from neighborhood non-profit institutions, including The Cedar Cultural Center and Pillsbury United Communities, for future contributions to the WBID; and
  • Supplementary support from our business association colleagues in Minneapolis and St. Paul: SPARC on Rice Street, Lake Street Council, University United, the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, and the Northeast CDC.

So far, we have received signed, notarized petitions and/or letters of support from the following:

  • Neighborhood Commercial LP;
  • Neighborhood Ventures LP;
  • Southern Theater;
  • Cedar Cultural Center;
  • Natsa Valley Properties;
  • Trinity Lutheran Congregation;
  • Smith Properties;
  • Dan Prozinski;
  • Yellow Crown Inc.;
  • Enuye Faneta;
  • Cedar Riverside Limited Partnership;
  • Sherman & Associates;
  • Augsburg College; and
  • Fairview Properties.

As you can see from the support list, many area stakeholders from large to small have come together in support, with more engaging daily. We are also excited to have a large number of nonprofit supporters opting in – volunteering to participate in assessments though they would not be otherwise compelled to. Their support not only is a testament in support of this model and the benefits it could provide, but it also reduces the burden on everyone and enables us to do more with less.

The support thus far takes us to well over our initial goal of 25% of commercial property owners, and allows us to continue receiving petitions into April. As we continue outreach and information sharing, more petitions and support letters are being received. We’re updating the website weekly with information and support; you can find the latest updates at wbba.thewestbank.org.

So – what’s next?

The city of Minneapolis will be reviewing the petitions we’ve sent in and checking the information against their databases. If our percentage of support is confirmed, a public hearing will be scheduled for May 14th. The city will send out notification for that public hearing, and we’ll keep you updated as well.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. This is YOUR improvement district, West Bank. 

There are thousands of successful districts from California to New York, but only a handful of districts in Minnesota so far. Because our aim is a self-managed district, we will have more autonomy than a traditional Special Services District. That means more opportunity for engagement from stakeholders and more flexibility to hire locally. We think those ingredients are critical for us to make this a success. We’re excited that through the mechanism of this district, the West Bank can have the opportunity for things like streetscape improvements and other services in the public right-of way, which were not previously available!

There are several ways you can continue to participate in this process:

  • Providing feedback on the documents we’ve created so far, which include a business plan, operations plan and draft budget (all available online at wbba.thewestbank.org);
  • Apply for a seat on the governing board or steering committee to govern the district;
  • Being a part of the streetscape planning process;
  • And last but not least, if you’ve not done so already, signing a petition or letter in support!

We look forward to supporting the West Bank community and once again thank our stakeholders and partners for their support and help in this effort. For questions, more info, or to have us pick up your petition, please contact us: Call Jamie Schumacher at 612-326-9652 or email info@thewestbank.org.


Jamie Schumacher

Executive Director 

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